The Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced three arms deals with the US worth a combined NT$13.35 billion (US$453.6 million) for 250 Block FIM-92 Stinger MANPAD missiles, torpedo service life extension packs and Standard Missile-2 spare modules.
The ministry’s publication of the deals shows that the contracts have entered the implementation stage, a defense official said yesterday on condition of anonymity.
The procurements involve arms that are to be used by the navy and the marine corps, the official said.
The shoulder-fired, single-
operator Stinger missiles are the most significant component of the purchase, the official said.
The weapon is to enhance the navy and marine corps’ air-defense capabilities, the official said, adding that delivery is scheduled to begin this year.
In addition to marine infantry battalions, units slated to receive the Stinger missiles include the navy’s Guang Hua VI-class fast attack boats and Tuo Jiang-class corvettes that lack adequate anti-aircraft weaponry, he said.
The Stinger missiles are to provide much-needed anti-aircraft firepower to the navy’s smaller combat craft and augment the survivability of ships and marines, while increasing the attrition rate of enemy air units, he said.
The deals were signed with the American Institute in Taiwan after being made possible in December 2015 by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s clearing of the weapon types for export to Taiwan.
The Stinger missiles, torpedo service-life extension packages and Standard Missile-2 modules are to cost an estimated NT$5.16 billion, NT$4.92 billion and NT$3.28 billion respectively, according to the ministry’s public contract notices.
The stated contractual time frame for the Stinger missile deal covers last year to 2020.
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